Sweden says will not meet vaccine target due to delay in deliveries

A health worker vaccinates an elderly person with Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine at a temporary vaccination clinic in a church in Sollentuna, north of Stockholm, Sweden

Sweden’s vaccine coordinator said on Sunday repeated delays of COVID-19 vaccine deliveries meant Sweden would not be able to meet the target of having all adults vaccinated by June 30.

Sweden, which has rejected lockdowns throughout the pandemic, is rushing to get its population vaccinated amid a third wave of the pandemic. It registered its highest number of new cases since the end of last year on Thursday, although deaths remain at a relatively low level.

“It will take a bit longer before everyone is fully vaccinated, but maybe five million people will be fully vaccinated by the end of the first half of the year, June 30,” vaccine coordinator Richard Bergstrom told Swedish Television.

“It will take maybe a couple of weeks into July before everyone has had two shots,” he said.

Bergstrom did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Sweden, with a total population of 10 million, has so far vaccinated over a million people with one dose and 450,000 people with two doses.

The country has more than 13,000 deaths from COVID-19. Sweden’s death rate per capita is many times higher than that of its Nordic neighbours but lower than in several European countries that opted for lockdowns.

A compilation of European excess mortality data on Wednesday showed Sweden had a lower increase in deaths than most European countries in 2020.

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